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New York Gov. Kathy Hochul speaks at the University at Buffalo Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences on Main Street, Tuesday, Aug. 31, 2021, in Buffalo, N.Y. (Robert Kirkham/The Buffalo News via AP)

Thousands of health care workers in New York faced with getting the COVID-19 vaccine or losing their jobs on Monday have received at least one dose.

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul released figures showing vaccination rates rising among the state’s 450,000 hospital workers and for other health care workers. By Monday evening, 92% of nursing home staff received at least one vaccine dose. Preliminary data showed 92% of hospital staff receiving at least one dose of vaccine.

The executive order allows out-of-state doctors, nurses and other medical professionals to practice in New York, makes it easier for retirees to return to the workforce and allows doctor consults in nursing homes via telemedicine.

The order broadens the roles of emergency medical technicians, allowing basic EMTs to vaccinate and test for the coronavirus.

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MORE ON THE PANDEMIC:

— U.S. employer vaccine mandates convert some workers, but not all

— 400K in U.S. got Pfizer booster shots last weekend

— France offers state-funded therapy, tackles mental health

— Vaccination situation in Europe a story of two regions

 

HERE’S WHAT ELSE IS HAPPENING:

DECATUR, Ga. — The metro Atlanta city of Decatur is requiring its police officers, firefighters and other employees to get vaccinated against COVID-19 or undergo weekly tests to keep their jobs.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution says Decatur City Manager Andrea Arnold announced the new policy during a city commission meeting on Monday night. At least one other Georgia city — Brookhaven, also in metro Atlanta — has issued a similar requirement.

Arnold says the city’s policy mirrors the federal vaccine mandate enacted by President Joe Biden. That mandate has been panned by Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp and other Republican leaders.

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LONDON — British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says he’ll appoint a chair this year to the planned public inquiry into the coronavirus pandemic and bereaved families will have a role in the proceedings.

The COVID-19 Bereaved Families for Justice, which has around 4,000 members, have been calling for a public inquiry into the government’s handling of the pandemic so lessons can be learned to limit future virus-related deaths. It has criticized Johnson and his Conservative government for a lack of protective gear for health workers, delaying lockdowns and a too-lax travel policy.

Johnson confirmed in May a public inquiry will start to hear evidence next year. However, the group says, “we see no reason why preparations for the inquiry cannot begin now, particularly as nearly 1,000 people are still losing their lives each week.”

The U.K. registered 167 virus-related deaths on Tuesday. Britain has Europe’s second-highest pandemic death toll after Russia, with nearly 136,500 confirmed dead.

FILE - In this Sept. 14, 2021 file photo, a syringe is prepared with the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine at a clinic at the Reading Area Community College in Reading, Pa. Businesses that have announced vaccine mandates say some workers who had been on the fence have since gotten inoculated against COVID-19. But many holdouts remain — a likely sign of what is to come once a federal mandate goes into effect. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)

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PHOENIX — Arizona reported 1,123 confirmed COVID-19 cases on Tuesday, a figure less than half the state’s latest seven-day rolling average that state officials say is low because of a reporting problem.

Therefore, the figures released Wednesday and Thursday will be higher, the Department of Health Services says.

The state reported 108 new deaths, increasing the state’s total to 19,920 confirmed deaths.

The seven-day rolling average of daily new cases dropped in the past two weeks, decreasing from 2,581 on Sept. 12 to 2,500 on Sunday. The rolling average of daily deaths rose from 26 to 42 during the same period, according to Johns Hopkins University.

The COVID-19-related hospitalizations, which have decreased slightly since mid-September, were at 1,794 on Monday.

People commute through the World Trade Center, Friday, July 9, 2021, in New York. Businesses that have announced vaccine mandates say some workers who had been on the fence have since gotten inoculated against COVID-19. But many holdouts remain, a likely sign of what is to come once a federal mandate goes into effect. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

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WASHINGTON — More than 400,000 Americans got Pfizer booster shots last weekend through local pharmacies in the opening days of the U.S effort to provide more protection for vulnerable populations.

White House COVID-19 coordinator Jeff Zients says an additional 1 million people have scheduled booster shots for the coming weeks. He adds: “We’re off to a very strong start with the booster campaign.”

As many as 25 million people qualify for the third dose of the Pfizer shot, which was authorized last week for those 65 or older, those with pre-existing conditions or facing an elevated risk at their workplace.

U.S. officials say their primary focus is ensuring the roughly 25% of eligible Americans who have yet to get their first shot do so.

Dr. Rochelle Walensky, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, says a major priority is the vaccination rate among pregnant women, which stands at 30% nationally and at 15% among Black pregnant women. She encouraged them to seek out vaccinations, saying data shows they’re safe for mother and baby and can prevent needless illness or death.Vendors carry their wares to sell at a flea market in Harare, Zimbabwe on Thursday, Sept, 2, 2021. Many employers in Zimbabwe are mandating COVID-19 vaccines for their staff. Critics say that, unlike in richer countries that have made use of mandates, Zimbabwe’s rollout isn’t up to the task. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)

Valeriu Gheorghita, the head of Romania's COVID-19 vaccination campaign administers the third dose booster Pfizer vaccine shot to Dr. Adrian Marinescu, the medical director of the Matei Bals hospital in Bucharest, Romania, Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2021. Romania reported 11049 new COVID-19 infections in the past 24 hour interval, the highest ever daily number since the start of the pandemic. (AP Photo/Andreea Alexandru)

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PARIS — French President Emmanuel Macron has announced psychology appointments in France will be funded by the government starting next year.

State health care systems in Britain, Germany and some other countries already fund therapy sessions. French health professionals say a national effort to improve access is long overdue, especially as the coronavirus pandemic has caused and aggravated psychological distress.

Macron acknowledged both the psychological impact of government virus restrictions and past government failures to make mental health a priority during a conference with mental health professionals on Tuesday. He described a spike in the number of children seeking psychological treatment and in attempted suicides, notably among teenagers.

Health surveys in France last year pointed to a surge of depression most acute among people without work, those in financial hardship and young adults.

The French government announced free therapy sessions for children and young people earlier this year, and on Tuesday pledged to extend it to everyone. Psychiatric treatment is already largely reimbursed by the state.

FILE - In this Tuesday, May 11, 2021 file photo, Dr. Peter Marks, director of the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research in the Food and Drug Administration, testifies during a Senate health, education, labor, and pensions hearing to examine an update from federal officials on efforts to combat COVID-19 on Capitol Hill in Washington. On Friday, Sept. 10, 2021, Marks urged parents to be patient, saying the agency will rapidly evaluate vaccines for 5- to 11-year-olds as soon as it gets the needed data. (Jim Lo Scalzo/Pool via AP)A government worker shows his vaccination card in Harare, Zimbabwe on Sunday, Sept, 19, 2021. Many employers in Zimbabwe are mandating COVID-19 vaccines for their staff, and the government has its own requirement that its 500,000 employees get the shots. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)

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WILMINGTON, Del. — Delaware Gov. John Carney announced all teachers and school staff in Delaware will be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or undergo weekly testing.

Carney announced the requirement Tuesday. It will be formally issued by emergency regulation and take effect Nov. 1. The requirement also applies to contractors and volunteers who work in K-12 public and private schools.

Carney says the top priority has been to get all students back in school this fall, and the mandate will help minimize disruptions.

Delaware State Education Association President Stephanie Ingram says the state’s largest teacher’s union supports the decision and urges members to get vaccinated, calling weekly testing a “reasonable alternative.”

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NEW YORK — Businesses with vaccine mandates say some workers who’ve been on the fence have gotten inoculated against COVID-19, with some holdouts.

Meanwhile, coronavirus cases are surging in the U.S. The seven-day average COVID-19 deaths climbed above 2,000 last week for the first time since March.

Even before President Joe Biden’s announcement on Sept. 9 that companies with more than 100 workers would have to require vaccinations, dozens of companies, including Amtrak, Microsoft, United Airlines and Disney, issued ultimatums to most workers.

United Airlines said 97% of its workers have been vaccinated even before its deadline took effect Monday. Alternatives for those employees include weekly testing, working remotely or away from other staff, or ultimately, termination.

Some bigger companies that require in-office workers be vaccinated now or in coming weeks include Google, McDonald’s (U.S.-based office workers), and Goldman Sachs, among others.

Biden wants to boost the vaccination rate in the U.S., where about 77% of American adults have had one dose of the vaccine, according to the CDC.

FILE - In this Tuesday, April 27, 2021 file photo, nurses from the nearby St Thomas' hospital sit atop the National Covid Memorial Wall in London. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson will on Tuesday, Sept. 28 finally meet with members of the COVID-19 Bereaved Families for Justice campaigning group, who for more than a year have sharply criticized his handling of the coronavirus pandemic. Johnson's Downing Street office confirmed Monday that the prime minister will hold a “private meeting” with members of the group. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, file)

Japan's Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga speaks during a press conference at the prime minister's official residence Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2021, in Tokyo. Suga announced the coronavirus state of emergency will end Thursday so the economy can be reactivated as infections slow. (Rodrigo Reyes Marin/Pool Photo via AP)

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BUCHAREST, Romania — Romania started administering third doses of coronavirus vaccine on Tuesday, the same day it recorded its highest number of daily infections since the start of the pandemic.

Romania, which has the second-lowest vaccine rate in the European Union, is facing a rise of COVID-19 cases. The country registered 11,049 new coronavirus infections on Tuesday. That’s almost 1,000 more than its previous record last November.

Chief vaccination coordinator Dr. Valeriu Gheorghita administered boosters during a hospital visit in the capital Bucharest.

“We still have a long way to go,” he said. “The rate of vaccination is obviously not enough to limit the negative consequences of the fourth wave and especially with the delta variant infections.”

Only 33% of adults in Romania, a country of 19 million, have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19. The booster shots are recommended for people vulnerable to the virus who received their second dose at least six months ago.

Romania has recorded more than 1.2 million confirmed cases and 36,658 confirmed deaths.

Nurse Rosaura Rodriguez inoculates a woman with a dose of the Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine during house to house vaccinations in the popular neighborhood of El Valle in Caracas, Venezuela, Monday, Sept. 27, 2021. According to the Pan American Health Organization Venezuela one of the least vaccinated countries in the continent, is seeing a growing uptick in caseloads, unlike other countries in the region where cases are dropping. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

Nurse Rosaura Rodriguez inoculates a man with a dose of the Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccine during house to house vaccinations in the popular neighborhood of El Valle in Caracas, Venezuela, Monday, Sept. 27, 2021. According to the Pan American Health Organization Venezuela one of the least vaccinated countries in the continent, is seeing a growing uptick in caseloads, unlike other countries in the region where cases are dropping. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

Russian President Vladimir Putin chairs a Security Council meeting via video conference at the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow, Russia, Monday, Sept. 27, 2021. (Alexei Druzhinin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

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ZAGREB, Croatia — Croatian authorities say all employees in health and social care services in the country must produce COVID-19 certificates to work or they must get tested twice a week.

The decision Tuesday will apply to facilities where patients don’t require urgent medical care. Workers will be required next week to show evidence of vaccination, a negative virus test or a certificate that they’ve had COVID-19.

Croatia introduced the new rules after a recent case surge and a slowing of the vaccination drive in the nation. Croatia has reached about 50% vaccination rate among the adult population in the country of 4.2 million.

Health Minister Vili Baros says “we don’t want to be rigid” but adds it’s clear more vaccinations are needed and those not following the rules “won’t get paid.”

A health worker inoculates a school teacher Iram Mohammed Salim Khan with the vaccine for COVID-19 during a special drive for teachers and students in Mumbai, India, Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2021. (AP Photo/Rajanish kakade)

Nurse Genny Zorrilla walks with a cooler containing Sinopharm COVID-19 vaccines past a mural of late president Hugo Chavez, during house to house vaccinations in the popular neighborhood of El Valle in Caracas, Venezuela, Monday, Sept. 27, 2021. According to the Pan American Health Organization Venezuela one of the least vaccinated countries in the continent, is seeing a growing uptick in caseloads, unlike other countries in the region where cases are dropping. (AP Photo/Ariana Cubillos)

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NEW YORK — Pfizer has submitted research to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration on the effectiveness of its COVID-19 vaccine in children as it moves closer to seeking approval for expanded use of the shots.

The drugmaker and its partner, Germany’s BioNTech, say they expect to request emergency use authorization of their vaccine in children ages 5 to 11 “in the coming weeks.” The companies also plan to submit data to the European Medicines Agency and other regulators.

The two-shot Pfizer vaccine is currently available for those 12 and older. An estimated 100 million people in the U.S. have been fully vaccinated with it, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Pfizer tested a lower dose of the shots in children. The drugmaker said last week that researchers found the vaccine developed coronavirus-fighting antibody levels in children that were just as strong as those found in teenagers and young adults getting regular-strength doses.

Earlier this month, FDA chief Dr. Peter Marks told the AP that once Pfizer turns over its study results, his agency would evaluate the data “hopefully in a matter of weeks” to decide if the shots are safe and effective enough for younger kids.

Another U.S. vaccine maker, Moderna, also is studying its shots in elementary school-aged children. Results are expected later in the year.

FILE - In this Sept. 20, 2021, file photo, people wearing face masks to help protect against COVID-19 walk past a crossing in Shinjuku, an entertainment district of Tokyo. Japan’s government announced Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2021, the coronavirus state of emergency will end Thursday so the economy can be reactivated as infections slow. (AP Photo/Kiichiro Sato, File)A member of the medical staff prepares to shave a patient in the COVID-19 ICU unit of the Marius Nasta National Pneumology Institute in Bucharest, Romania, Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021. Daily new coronavirus infections in Romania, a country of 19 million, have grown exponentially over the last month, while vaccine uptake has declined to worrying lows. Government data shows that 91.5% of COVID-19 deaths in Romania between Sept. 18-23 were people who had not been vaccinated.  (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

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PARIS — French drugmaker Sanofi says it is shelving plans for a COVID-19 vaccine based on messenger RNA but will develop a new flu vaccine.

The Paris-based company says it will continue to develop another vaccine candidate already undergoing late-stage human trials. That vaccine, developed with Britain’s GlaxoSmithKline, is being tested as a COVID-19 booster.

Sanofi recently expanded trials of that recombinant protein vaccine as a booster dose to extend immunity for people inoculated with a variety of other vaccines. Results from that study are expected later this year.

Messenger RNA vaccines are currently made by Pfizer and Moderna. Sanofi officials say they decided it wasn’t worth pursuing that technology for COVID-19 vaccines, given how those vaccines are widely available.

They plan to use the mRNA technology to develop a new flu vaccine, with clinical studies expected to start next year, according to Jean-Francois Toussaint, global head of research and development at Sanofi’s vaccine unit.

Genoveva Cadar, the head of COVID-19 ICU unit of the Marius Nasta National Pneumology Institute speaks during an interview with the Associated Press in Bucharest, Romania, Thursday, Sept. 23, 2021. Daily new coronavirus infections in Romania, a country of 19 million, have grown exponentially over the last month, while vaccine uptake has declined to worrying lows. Government data shows that 91.5% of COVID-19 deaths in Romania between Sept. 18-23 were people who had not been vaccinated. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

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TOKYO — Japan’s government says the coronavirus state of emergency will end Thursday to help rejuvenate the economy as infections slow.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced virus restrictions will be eased gradually. Government officials are instituting other plans, such as vaccine passports and virus tests, Suga says.

With the lifting, Japan will be free of emergency requirements for the first time in more than six months. The current state of emergency, declared in April, was repeatedly extended and expanded, especially during the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.

Infections started to worsen in July and peaked in mid-August after the Olympics, surging above 5,000 daily cases in Tokyo alone and topping 25,000 nationwide. Thousands of patients unable to find hospital beds had to recover from the illness at home.

Daily reported cases have fallen to around 2,000 nationwide. Health experts attributed the declining numbers to the progress of vaccinations — 58% of the population is fully vaccinated — increased social distancing efforts after alarm from full hospitals.

There have been 1.69 million confirmed cases and 17,500 confirmed deaths from COVID-19 in Japan.

Pedestrians walk past a coronavirus information mural on a street in Mombasa, Kenya Monday, Sept. 27, 2021. (AP Photo/Brian Inganga)People wearing face masks to help curb the spread of the coronavirus try out the latest iPhone 13 handsets at an Apple Store in Beijing, Tuesday, Sept. 28, 2021. The World Bank on Tuesday cut its economic growth forecast for developing countries in East Asia due to the impact of the coronavirus's delta variant and called on governments to help the poor and small businesses avoid long-term damage. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

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